Hacktoberfest 2020

Join us by contributing to Umbraco!

Sofie Blogpost
Written by Sofie Toft Kristensen

Want to add another exclusive Umbraco t-shirt to your collection? Do you want us to plant a tree in your name and help save our planet? In either case, you will get your wish granted by contributing to an Umbraco project or package during Hacktoberfest 2020… Not sure what that is all about? I’ll give you all the juicy details - just keep on reading!

For the third year in a row, Umbraco is joining Hacktoberfest! We’ll be handing out swag (or plant a tree) for everybody who makes a valuable contribution to any of the open-source Umbraco repositories.

What is Hacktoberfest?

Never heard about Hacktoberfest before? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered:

Hacktoberfest is a celebration of Open Source software. It is a cooperation between Digital Ocean and Github where they reward contributors to open source projects with a free t-shirt - or you can choose to have a tree planted instead if you contribute during October (starting tomorrow!). You can read a lot more on their official website.


As both the Umbraco CMS and the documentation for it are open source, we will once again take part in this wonderful celebration 🎉 …and we will also be offering the option to plant a tree instead of sending out t-shirts. 

Keep on reading, and you can find all the information and details you need to start contributing to Umbraco CMS and the documentation.

Why contribute to an open-source project?

If you ask us, there are of course many reasons why you should contribute to an open-source project - and we can think of even more for why you should contribute to Umbraco 😉

Here are a few of the reasons:

  • You expand your skillset
  • It is good for your career (don’t tell your boss, but this becomes part of your public resumé)
  • You will start building a network - you get to talk to Umbraco community members and HQ and.. it‘s good to get to know people!
  • You’ll learn things you never knew, you’ll unlearn things you never knew you should
  • Your contribution will impact thousands of people and you can boast to people: Oh yeah, that bug.. I helped fix that 😎

We at Umbraco are super excited that we can give you the unique opportunity to learn something, have some fun, fix something that you’ve always been annoyed about and contribute something back to the software you enjoy using. And hereby also help the hundreds of thousands of other users of Umbraco!

So, go get your Git on and contribute!

How do I contribute? 

Why, I thought you’d never ask 😎!

We have very thorough contribution guidelines no matter which product you want to contribute to:

If you don’t already have an idea on what to do to contribute, there are some issues that may help on the CMS issues and Documentation issues boards. 

Most of what’s on these lists are things you can start working on! We’ve also added “up-for-grabs” and “help wanted” labels to some of them.

Once you pick something to work on, leave a comment and say you will be working on it if no one else has done so!

Help wanted - also from first-time contributors!

Like we also did last year and as we’ve already mentioned, we’ve marked a number of issues on our  repositories with “help wanted”, “up-for-grabs” and “good first issue” labels.

These are tasks and topics we think are a perfect fit for someone contributing to the Umbraco project for the first time. Now, there are a number of areas you can contribute to:

How? Let’s take a look into each area: 

Help us improve the CMS

There are sooo many areas to contribute to when it comes to the Umbraco CMS - where to start?

As you might have heard, a bunch of people are working tirelessly to improve the accessibility of Umbraco 🙏 They’re doing an amazing job, and I’m sure they would love some help. There’s a long list of stuff that still needs to be improved. Why not take a look and see if you can help out? It’s the perfect fit for Hacktoberfest.

We have recently added a new acceptance test project to CMS that we’d love some help with. This project uses Cypress to run through common usage scenarios in the backoffice. By running those in an automated test, we can be more confident that our next release is of high quality. There is no detailed documentation for writing these tests yet but make sure to explore previous pull requests in this category. You can of course also inspect the existing code in the test project.

Umbraco 8.8 contains a new umb-icon directive, it is not being used everywhere yet but Mike has made a start. We encourage PRs to update existing icons to the new icons directive. But don’t take it too far; small, incremental changes are much easier to review one by one. So make small changes and submit them as a pull request, include screenshots so it’s easy for reviewers to verify what has changed. 

Otherwise, head on over to the CMS Issue tracker. There’s a total of 211 up-for-grabs issues to choose between - each of them varies in skill-level, and I’m sure you find a couple that fits your area of expertise.

Alternatively, if you know of a bug or something in CMS that doesn’t quite work right: this is your chance to get that particular thing updated! 

Write and update the Docs 🤓

The main focus on the Umbraco Documentation for Hacktoberfest this year is code samples! A lot of the documentation we already have could really benefit from some tangible examples on how whatever is being documented, could be implemented in a production website.

To aid this process, we have recently published a set of guidelines and good practices that we recommend following when adding code samples to the documentation. You can find it in the Contribution section.

Besides code samples, there is also a bunch of issues with the “help wanted” label on the Documentation repositories - here are a few of them:

Didn’t find anything of interest? You’re welcome to create some entirely new material as well if you feel that some information is missing from the documentation.

Umbraco .NET Core specifics

For the migration of Umbraco to .NET Core, we also have open tasks. First of all, we have a big project about migrating all existing tests to new test projects running .NET Core.

We also have the opportunity to refactor the architecture a bit. By ensuring all database communication is handled by repositories. Currently, we see controllers and services writing SQL. This could very well be refactored to be handled in repositories.

It’s also possible to help ensure all health checks are checking the new configuration files, instead of the old ones.

Finally, all acceptance tests written for Umbraco 8, can be reused for the .NET Core project without much effort from our side - So this is also a contribution that will help the .NET Core version of Umbraco to become less error-prone.

Package contributions

Now for something that we’re super proud of and very excited to share with you all:

As a new thing this year, contributions to Umbraco packages also counts as a contribution to Umbraco, and will therefore also grant you Hacktoberfest swag and praise 🙌

Now, there are some more details attached to this:

  • Only contributions made to open source Umbraco packages added to the Hacktoberfest Package repo list counts
  • Follow the contribution guidelines provided by the package creator

  • Look for the “help wanted” label on the issue tracker associated with the package you want to help out with

Read much more about how this works, and guidelines on adding your own package repo to the list on the Umbraco Packages teams Hacktoberfest 2020 guidelines.

Will there be swag? And how do I earn it?

I Eat Prs For Breakfast Small

The Umbraco Hacktoberfest t-shirt for 2019. 

Yes. We will again this year be handing out swag to anyone who participates in Hacktoberfest by contributing to any of the open-source Umbraco repositories and packages 👏👕

There will, however, be some slight changes in what this swag will be.

As I’ve already mentioned earlier in this blog post, you will this year be able to choose your reward.

Let me explain:

First of all you’ll need to complete the Umbraco Hacktoberfest challenge:

Have at least 1 PR approved on any Umbraco repository or Umbraco Package repository.

This might get you to wonder: “How do I know if my PR(s) qualify for Umbraco swag?

Well, once you’ve made a contribution to an Umbraco repository or package during Hacktoberfest, we will review the contribution and decide whether you’re eligible for some swag.

In general, we encourage all kinds of contributions, whether it’s whole new articles in the Documentation or bug fixes in the CMS.

Please be aware that PRs that do not follow the Hacktoberfest Quality Standards, will also not count towards Umbraco swag. These standards are to ensure we get quality PRs and that the right efforts get rewarded 🙌

Once we’ve approved your PR for swag, we’ll add the “hacktoberfest/contrib-2020” label to it 🎉

Are you contributing to one of the open-source Umbraco Packages, please check the Packages Hacktoberfest guidelines to learn more about how a contribution is marked as “swag-eligible”.

Once Hacktoberfest is over and you’ve completed the Hacktoberfest challenge, you will have a choice to make. Which will you choose?:

👕 I want an exclusive Umbraco Hacktoberfest t-shirt

🌳 I want to help the climate by having a tree planted

More information about delivery, shipping and planting will be available once October is over, and we’ve got an overview of the - hopefully - overwhelming amount of Hacktoberfest contributions.
As a “rule of thumb”: Brace yourself with some patience. You will not get your reward on November 1st - hopefully, we can get it to you before Christmas 2020 😉

Hacktoberfest events

Last year we did a few hackathons where a lot of content was made. This year it is going to be a bit different - but there will still be events to join to get inspired. 

DF20 Virtual Umbraco Conference

The Hacktoberfest month starts out with an Umbraco community conference on October 2nd.

DF20, hosted by the Dutch Umbraco User Group (DUUG), is available to watch online for free and there will be various sessions to get inspired to contribute. The Core Collaborator team is also joining in on the Umbraco CMS roundtable to talk about contributing to Umbraco 🙌

Candid Contributions Hackathon

The Candid Contributions team are hosting the CanCon Umbrackathon: a virtual Umbraco hackathon on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th of October.

No experience is necessary! Some 'Getting Started' sessions will be scheduled to highlight the various ways of contributing to Umbraco, it's not just bug fixing! There will also be a workshop with members of the Package team on how to build your first Umbraco package.

Everyone is welcome, whether you stay for the entire event or just pop in for a virtual cuppa with other Umbracians.

Visit https://candidcontributions.com/umbrackathon/ for more information and sign up.

Hacktoberfest QnA

  • Do PR’s have to be merged to count? 
    • Yes. We might not get around to merging them all in October, but we will add a special “Hacktoberfest 2020 Contributor” label to those we will merge - and with this tag, your Umbraco Hacktoberfest swag is of course secured as well :)
  • Will joining a Hacktoberfest meetup/hackathon be a SWAG-guarantee?
    • Only if your PR gets the Hacktoberfest 2020 label. Hackathons are a great way to get help and make sure you are working on something relevant though!
  • How will I receive the swag?
    • When October is over, we’ll contact you! And then you’ll have some choices to make 👕 or 🌳
  • How long will it take for the swag to arrive?
    • You will need to brace yourself with some patience, as it might take a while for the swag to arrive. We hope that you have it before Christmas though 😉

Last year’s success

Last year's Hacktoberfest was a great success that directly led to several new Umbraco releases! In total, we had 489 PRs across our repositories, which was about 40% more than in 2018 💥 These 489 PRs were submitted by 107 people - H5YR!

It was incredible to see the level of engagement and support from the Umbraco community! 

Let’s repeat that success again this year. 

Are you ready to get your Git on and start contributing? 😎 Hacktoberfest starts tomorrow - we hope you'll join in! 

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If you get an idea for something you would like to build in Umbraco, chances are that someone has already built it. And if you have a question, are looking for documentation or need friendly advice, go ahead and ask on the community forums.

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